Many were shocked when Matt Lauer was fired from his longtime gig as co-host of the Today show following a complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior. While most of his former co-workers said they were stunned by his dismissal, one person who wasn’t surprised was Ann Curry, who left the show years earlier in a move that Lauer reportedly had a hand in.
Here’s a look at what Curry, Katie Couric, Megyn Kelly, Al Roker, and more of Lauer’s other former colleagues have said about his ousting and the sexual misconduct accusations against him.
Savannah Guthrie was visibly upset
On Nov. 29, 2017, Savannah Guthrie announced on air that Matt Lauer had been terminated. She said she was “heartbroken” and looked visibly upset when she read a statement from NBC News chairman Andrew Lack about the decision to let him go.
Now that some time has passed and more details about Lauer’s firing and the allegations against him have surfaced, Guthrie told People that she is still “trying to get comfortable with how complicated the feelings around all of it are.” She is also “trying to have love and compassion for everyone concerned.”
Next: His replacement said she was on ‘autopilot.’
Hoda Kotb addressed her new responsibility as Lauer’s replacement
In January 2018, Hoda Kotb, who was seated next to Guthrie the morning the news was delivered, was named as Lauer’s replacement. The new co-anchor explained to People that the she and Guthrie were “on autopilot” when they learned he had been fired and why. Kotb said there are certain instances from that day she doesn’t remember, but she does recall saying a prayer right before they went live.
As the show’s new co-host, she feels a sense of responsibility to the entire staff. “We ask how they’re doing, we want them to feel good, we give them hugs,” she said. “Just so they remember this is bigger than one person, it’s bigger than Matt, it’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than Savannah, it’s bigger than all of us … We just shore up, we get together and we get stronger.”
Next: This Today co-host is thinking of the victims.
Megyn Kelly sent a message to the victims
After Lauer’s ousting, his NBC News co-worker, Megyn Kelly, opened her hour by addressing the situation. She also said what had happened was hard to deal with as he was a “friend” to her as well.
She then used the opportunity to focus on the alleged victims of sexual harassment, saying:
What we don’t see is the pain on the faces of those who found the courage to come forward. It is a terrifying thing to do. We don’t see the career opportunities women lose because of sexual harassment, or the intense stress it causes a woman dealing with it when she comes to work each day. I am thinking of those women this morning, and hoping they are okay. The days to come will not be easy.
Next: He is still processing it all.
Al Roker expressed his shock
Lauer’s former co-host Al Rocker was also surprised by his colleague’s involuntary exit. The two men worked together for two decades so when he learned that his colleague had been let go, Rocker said he was “still dealing with the news of a friend of 30 years, and trying to process it.”
He then went through his routine and gave the weather forecast, but looked very upset as he did so.
Next: She may have saw this coming.
Ann Curry said she was ‘not surprised’
Despite most of Lauer’s colleagues expressing shock about the whole situation, Ann Curry wasn’t surprised. In an interview with CBS This Morning on Jan. 17, Curry, who left the Today show in 2012 after reports that Lauer didn’t get along with her, talked about the environment when she worked there.
“I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations,” she said of Lauer. “I can say that I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed.” She also added, “I think it would be surprising if someone said they didn’t see that. It was verbal sexual harassment.”
Curry also spoke to People and said she feels “outrage” that the alleged inappropriate behavior was tolerated and “tremendous empathy for the victims.”
Next: She spoke about the ‘courage’ to come forward.
Natalie Morales addressed former rumors
Another one of Lauer’s former co-workers Natalie Morales, who left Today for Access Hollywood in 2016, also weighed in and had this to say about the courage of the alleged victim to come forward.
I have personally dealt with rumors in the past for years that were hurtful to me, my family – they diminished my hard work. I’ve addressed those rumors head-on in the past. That is not the story today. The story today is the courage of a colleague who did come forward, and when and if she wants to tell her story publicly, I’m sure she will. But it did take a lot of courage for her to come forward. It was no doubt a very painful decision.
Next: She said it’s very ‘painful.’
Katie Couric spoke out on ‘painful’ allegations
One of Lauer’s most memorable co-hosts was Katie Couric. She sat alongside him for 15 years, and when the details surrounding his termination were announced, she said that she had “no idea” anything like that was going on there. She also told People that she was so taken aback by the allegations because “this was not the Matt we knew.”
Couric went on to say that the “whole thing has been very painful for me. The accounts I’ve read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the Today show experienced this kind of treatment.”
Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.
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